Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Willingham's Pair Paces Nats; Carmona In a Groove

Players of the Day for Monday, March 22, 2010 American League Cleveland fans will be pleased to note that at least part of their pitching rotation is back to delivering solid starts. On Monday, Fausto Carmona won his second straight start, blanking the Cubs over 6 innings on 2 hits en route to a 9-2 Cleveland win. Carmona is putting up very nice numbers this Spring. In 13 innings, he's allowed just 5 hits and 1 earned run. His K-BB ratio is a pleasing 3-1, with 6 Ks and 2 walks. After an outstanding campaign in 2007, when he posted a 19-8 record with a 3.06 ERA, Carmona's numbers ballooned ovr the next two seasons. In 2008, he went 8-7 with a 5.44 ERA, but in 2009, the wheels fell off, as he compiled a record of 5-12 and a 6.32 ERA. Now entering his fifth season, Carmona appears to have regained most of his winning form. He'll be a key to Cleveland's success, though he's likely to end up as trade bait should the Indians stumble as many expect. Fausto could end up with a contender if his stuff remains sharp through August. National League Nats' outfielder Josh Willingham upped his Spring average from .300 to .391, with a 3-for-3 game, helping the Nationals win for just the 5th time against 13 losses, beating the Mets, 7-5. Willingham, who will likely be the Nationas' starting left fielder, belted a pair of homers and drove in three runs. He now has four bombs, matching his Spring training total from last year. Despite playing for a perennial loser, Willingham is a good bet to hit 25 homers and drive in 90 or so runs, providing he stays healthy, something that's been an issue the past few seasons.

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